As you can see, Filipinos here in the States took a direct hit from the subprime crisis, from our retirement investments to our mortgage that can't be refinanced, to our rising credit card interest. Loans are now difficult to find. Worse, applying for one is even more difficult. So, we've cut down on a lot of unnecessary expenses and travels.Thing is, I don’t invest in Manila because I am not very familiar about the local investments procedures and I have had lousy experiences as a bank customer there. Since I don't want to surrender the decision making to investment administrators in Manila, and they have not won my confidence as of yet, I continue to be on the sidelines. However, I will never let those sick Wall Street people dictate my life. I am being prudent in all of my expenditures and wiser in spending money. My strategies are to stay put, cut down on expenses, find more extra income, and continue to be cute and happy. I was planning to go home and find a job in Manila. When all of these investment houses started tumbling down, I asked myself if it would be better for me to stay here. I'm still thinking. I can’t decide. Help me :-)
A Pinoy in the US hit by the credit crisis
(Last week, I emailed Filipinos working all over the world to find out how the US global financial crunch is affecting one of the major sources of the country’s liquidity—the so called OFWs. Some are regular readers of MoneySmarts, while some are friends of another blogger Reyna Elena. They were kind enough to reply and a short version of their emails (in the interest of space) were included in a feature I wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I am publishing this week in installments the full version of their emails. I hope the series will help us understand how Filipinos all over the world are affected and are responding to the crisis.) By Edwin Jamora, USA I have just recently quit my job as director of finance in one of the largest housing authorities in the United States with over 3,000 employees. I've been unemployed since July 2008; however, I have just accepted a job in Chicago as director for one of the largest development corporation dealing with housing tax credits, asset management and property investments. I expect to start very soon. My parents, very religious, took the church's "go and multiply" advice by heart and made parenting an algorithmic Fibonachi, that's why there's 11 of us in the family. We lived in the barrio and could not find opportunities in the Philippines because at that time, they're all reserved for the rich, the powerful and the conios. So, I paddled my boat to the land of apples and honey. I've been working in the United States for over 21 years now. Growing up in the Philippines, I really thought that we have perfected corruption. To my surprise, corrupt officials are populating Wall Street and beyond as well. They could literally bring down a world financial system! That worries the heck out of me because I can't seem to believe that these crooks could actually shake the entire financial system and make our lives miserable. When I say "our", I just don't refer to Americans, rather, world citizens as well. For if America sneezes, the world catches cold. Given that I worked in the financial, real estate, investment and asset management side, I had the privilege of understanding the complexity of what's behind the current financial turmoil and so I could fully and truly appreciate its implication on me personally, my family and my fellow overseas Pinoy friends. My 401-k (read: retirement) is now down 15 percent. Two weeks ago, I felt comfortable because my retirement money is with Wachovia, where it sits at the moment. Suddenly, Wachovia is in the news. It's bad enough that I have increased my monthly remittance to the Philippines because of certain fixed expenses back home.
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